Ryan Fincher welding competition

GNTC alumnus Ryan Fincher of Cedartown was selected as the U.S. representative for an elite international competition in Russia against the best welders from around the world. / Contributed

Editor’s note: This item from the SkillsUSA National office in Leesburg, Virginia came to us in recent days at the Standard Journal, and in our continued efforts to give some coverage to Mr. Fincher ahead of his journey to Russia to compete for a global welding title, we thought it proper to share it with our readers this week. -KM

Ryan Fincher, of Cedartown, will represent the United States in Welding at the biennial WorldSkills Competition in Kazan, Russia. Fincher will compete as a member of the WorldSkills USA team, selected and trained by SkillsUSA. The 45th international event will be held Aug. 22-27, 2019.

Fincher’s love for welding sparked when he noticed an older friend was training and competing in high school. “I fell in love with welding the moment I struck an arc,” he said. “I’ve always been competitive, so I dove right in to prove I could be the best.”

In preparation for WorldSkills, Fincher is planning for the mental and physical demands by practicing and timing each aspect of welding, so he can determine the areas where he should spend more time. “Practice every chance you get and practice to be perfect. If you run a great weld, that is good, but then find ways to make it better and then do it again. There is always a better way of doing things and nothing is ever perfect.”

“It is a huge honor to represent the United States at WorldSkills and I need to push myself to be the best I can be. The WorldSkills USA team will be the face of America in Kazan,” he continued. “In anything you do in life, there will always be room for improvement, so push yourself to be better each day.”

After WorldSkills, Fincher plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in welding engineering and a certified welding inspector (CWI) certification. His dream is to own his own commercial welding company and help other welders get certified.

Every two years, WorldSkills hosts the world championships of skills, which attracts more than 1,600 competitors from more than 76 countries and regions around the world to compete in more than 50 different trade skills. Considered the best in the world at each trade skill, contestants compete before the public for four days in contests that are run and judged by industry using demanding international standards. They represent the best students from each nation and many are highly trained by their sponsoring country. To see a list of competitions, go to: https://worldskills2019.com/en/event/skills/

There are 22 members on the WorldSkills USA team, with an average age of 19. Other occupational areas in which the United States plans to compete include Aircraft Maintenance, Autobody Repair, Automobile Technology, Bakery, Bricklaying, Cabinetmaking, Car Painting, CNC Milling, Cooking, Cyber Security, Graphic Design, Hairdressing, Heavy Vehicle Maintenance, Mechanical Engineering CAD, Mechatronics, Plumbing and Heating, Print Media, Restaurant Service and Web Technologies.

Hundreds of thousands of spectators, public policymakers, employers, teachers, trainers, technical experts and government officials from around the world will attend this competition. The event will be held at the Kazan Expo International Exhibition Centre. For more information about the competition, go to: https://worldskills2019.com/en.

For more information about Ryan Fincher and the WorldSkills USA team, go

to: www.worldskillsusa.org. Unlike other national teams in the WorldSkills Competition, the WorldSkills USA team is funded solely through private donations. To donate funds or in-kind support, go to: www.worldskillsusa.org/donate/